Leonardo Pompeo D'Alessandro

"Democratizing the Factory Regime." The Problem of "Worker Control," Giolitti, and the Crisis of the Liberal State

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This paper aims to retrace the topic of industrial democracy in the immediate first postwar period. The focus is on the State’s action and its attempts to find a solution to an instance of participation in political and economic life coming from new social parties. In this regard, the paper investigates the action of Giolitti’s government and his proposal on “Control over industries by workers.µ This proposal represented a significant attempt to provide an answer to the institutional crisis of the postwar period through the search for corporatist compromises, mediated by the State, between the organized interests of industrialists and those of trade unions. It expressed the awareness that it was no longer possible to rebuild upon old foundations the equilibria between rulers and the ruled that had been torn after the outbreak of war.


  • Post-WWI
  • Industrial democracy
  • Giovanni Giolitti
  • Crisis of the liberal State
  • Corporatist compromises


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